Happy New Year +2016+

happy new year

(∗❛ัᴗ❛ั∗) HAPPY NEW YEAR ~ 明けましておめでとうございます!(∗❛ัᴗ❛ั∗)

I honestly was not expecting 2016 to sneak up on me like this, but it is here and I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. My family and I didn’t do much for New Year’s Eve; we went out for Indian food at a local restaurant and stuffed ourselves silly. Afterwards, we came right home and took a food coma nap before ringing in 2016.

Today, we kind of slept in before heading to run a 5k right around the corner. Let me just say, I’m exceptionally sore and sleepy after that run. That pretty much sums up the last two days. ୧( ˵ ° ~ ° ˵ )୨ How was your New Year’s?

year review

This last year has had a lot of incredible things happen, but there were a few heartbreaking moments as well. I won’t go into detail what’s happened, but things happen for a reason. Good things are to come. However, despite that, I did want to share a few exciting things that happened in 2015!

Pokemon Symphonic Evolutions Concert
Vacation in Luray, Virginia
Hello Kitty Macarons from Sweet Fix DC
Chopping My Hair Off
A New Job
Our Very First Twitch Stream in June
Reached 100+ Followers on the Blog!

You all have been so supportive and loving, I cannot thank you enough for how wonderful 2015 was.

2016 new years resolution

I’m not 100% sure of what to expect of 2016. It’s a bit scary in terms of all of the unknowns, but I know that I will have to move forward regardless and remember to keep my chin up. But I will share my resolutions with you all! Hopefully some of you can relate…because it was incredibly difficult coming up with this list…

#1.) Focus on me a bit more...
I tend to focus on others a lot more than myself and it effects me in both positive and negative ways such as stress. So I want to do a few things for myself and hopefully create a balance so that there is less stress and frustration.

#2.) Speak & write Japanese more…
I want to keep improving my speaking and writing in Japanese even outside of college, so if you have any book or app suggestions, please let me know!

#3.) Run a 10k…
Since I’ve ran a few 5k races, I finally want to train and run a 10k this year!

#4.) Learn different photography tricks…
I want to improve my photography for the blog as well as other aspects. I want to learn how to properly light and focus!

#5.) Be more active on the blog…
It’s been a bit frustrating this year trying to keep up with constant posts this year and that is entirely my fault. A part of me feels busy with work and other things, and another part me has either hit a writer’s block or just lack of inspiration. I want to make Simply Taylor Rae bigger than anything I imagined, but in order for that to happen…I need to put in the effort.

I may come up with more resolutions within the next week or so, but this is all I have for now. へ(´д`へ) I hope you all have the most amazing 2016 ever. May it be prosperous and filled with love and laughter. Don’t ever give up no matter the situation, keep pressing on, and you will find your way. You guys are honestly so wonderful, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

(๑❛ꆚ❛๑) THANKS FOR A WONDERFUL 2015 (๑❛ꆚ❛๑)

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

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The Geeky: 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

Well Hello Everyone!

Oh no guys, it’s almost Christmas and if you’re like me…you like to do that little thing you learned in school at an early age.

PROCRASTINATION.

Oh yes, the concept is a lovely one. But have no fear, I’ve devised a lovely list of perfect gifts for the lovely ladies in your life.

holiday gift guide

Ah, yes. Who’s ready for some incredibly cute, geeky, and classy gifts!? Tay Tay sure is. ೕ(⁍̴̀◊⁍̴́ฅ) This year we are going to go through each of the STR categories; Fashion, Geeky, Beauty, & Food. ARE YOU READY!? Let’s do this.

fashion

You guys already know how big of a Star Wars nerd I am and this year, ModCloth has the cutest Change Purse with Greatest Pun of a Name: Be the Change Purse you Wish to C-3PO. For $19.99, you can get that awesome Star Wars nerd in your life some flippin’ style just in time for the new Star Wars movie release! I am personally loving it like crazy.

geeky

Oh my, yes yes yes to this. This is a bit more expensive than 99% of the items I’ve posted on the blog before, but believe me…it’s worth it. I’m talking about that beautiful New Nintendo 3DS XL from GameStop. At the tender price of $199.99, you can experience faster processing while playing phenomenal games such as Super Smash Bros. and Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. I recently got one as an early anniversary/Christmas gift from Anthony and I LOVE IT. I highly recommend this for the gamer who ignores you. (I mean, why not right?)

beauty

You guys know I couldn’t do a gift guide without something Sailor Moon, right? ∠( ᐛ 」∠)_ And guess who just found a seller for the BEAUTIFUL and limited edition Creer Beaute Sailor Moon Make Up Powder? You guess it; YesStyle.Com! I’m not one to wear make up but if I could open up that gorgeous broach every day, I’d consider it greatly…or just keep it to look at and stare. This lovely powder will be a bit pricey at $66.90, but I’m sure the Sailor Moon loving fangirl in your life will adore you and it FOREVER. Just saying.

food

Finally, we’ve reached my favorite subject; Food. Although you’ll probably be eating loads of food on Christmas Day; why not give the wonderful gift of reading and teaching via a cookbook? I’d highly recommend Shirley Wong’s “Kawaii Bento” cookbook which you can purchase on Amazon. For $23.01, your friend can make the most ridiculously adorable food that you’d regret eating because it’s that freakin’ cute. Pair it with a cute lunch box or bento box, and I’d think you got a marvelous gift idea on your hands.

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Well, I think this year’s holiday gift guide was an incredible success! I hope this helps you in some way, shape, or form. (Quite frankly, I’m tempted to spoil myself on a couple of these items…whoops.) If you have any gift ideas or have purchased these bad boys before, drop a comment down below! I love to hear from you all. ღゝ◡╹)ノ♡ I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday and a very safe Holiday weekend! Next week, I think I’m going to do a more personal post. There’s a lot going on here and I really just want to share it with you all. Anyways, take care guys!

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae ( ื▿ ืʃƪ)

 

The Geeky: 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

christmas

Why hello there everyone!

For the past two years I have done a quick holiday gift guide to help you shop for the geeks in your life! Today I’m following the annual tradition and this year’s guide is geared toward the ladies in your life. From jewelry to home decor, here are five items that make perfect and adorable gifts for your girl friend, female friend, maybe even your mom.

hatsune miku bag

Let’s face it, many ladies love purses and backpacks. Plus they make the perfect gift for the holidays.  If you have a Hello Kitty or Vocaloid fan in your life, this bag is definitely a must!  This is Hot Topic‘s “Hatsune Miku x Hello Kitty Hobo Bag” is reasonably priced and on sale for $14.63~! If you really want to fancy up a bag gift then stuff some fun or delicious things inside! It’ll be a cute surprise for the recipient!

luna p cushion

Who doesn’t like a little something to spruce up their living space?  With all of the Sailor Moon products being released this product is probably one of my favorites (that I have yet to purchase…)!  This product is JList‘s “Luna P Ball 1/1 Beads Cushion” it’s a wee bit expensive at $35 plus shipping, from Japan, BUT if your recipient is a huge Sailor Moon fan then this gift is beyond perfect. Also this product brings a ridiculous wave of nostalgia!

ack-bar tee

You can never go wrong with buying a T-shirt as a gift. It’s simple, cost effective and can make some feel as if though you know them all too well.  This year I have a shirt for ALL of you Star Wars nerds! Say hello to ThinkGeek‘s “Ack – Bar Ladies’ Tee” and it’s priced oh so lovely at $19.99. Who doesn’t love Admiral Ackbar and corny puns? Maybe with some added chocolate on this side this gift will surely be out of this world in a galaxy far, far away.

pikachu mug

This year has been the year of Pokemon, and, I am loving it. If your lady has bought it then she is rocking one of the new Pokemon ORAS games. Why not buy her a cute mug to drink hot chocolate or coffee from while they spend about 10 hours a day trying to collect all 8 gym badges and catch all of the legendaries? This mug is the Pokemon Center‘s “Pikachu Big Face Coffee Mug” and it goes for $14.95! You can place a hot chocolate packet with a candy cane and some popcorn inside side to spruce it up a bit! Tis an easy yet awesome gift, yes?

roam necklace

Ah, yes. Statement jewelry made a wonderful…statement…this year! And here is a clever statement for the Wanderlust laden lady in your life: ModCloth‘s “No Place Like Roam Necklace”! It’s slightly expensive at $29.99, but it’s sure to bring a smile to that wonderful lady’s face as she lets her eyes roam over the map set in the necklace itself! It’s a stunning gift that is sure to catch some glances and make them wander!

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Well that’s all I have for today! I hope this helps you with shopping for your ladies ~. If you liked today’s post and or want to suggest other items perfect for Christmas go ahead and please leave a comment down below! If you would like to suggest topics for future posts please click the “Contact” button above and shoot me an email! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and Happy Holidays~! And like always…

REMEMBER: IT’S A SNACK! (I love this pun…)

Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

Ho Ho Holiday Beauty Recipes!

Hello Everyone!
It has been so long since I did a recipe post! It’s been such a busy season with all the gift shopping, the end of a college semester, and work. I am all over the place it feels like! But, now that I’m done shopping and the semester is officially over, I AM READY TO BLOG MY HEART OUT.

Also, if you haven’t noticed already…Anthony changed the blog banner once again! When he was designing my business cards, he thought it would be best to be consistent with the design and changed the banner accordingly! Honestly, I LOVE IT. I am so simple and the banner looks a bit more professional, in my opinion. I do have a preview of the business cards on my Instagram so be sure to stop by and take look and let me know what you think!

Without further due, LET’S BEGIN:
imageThe holidays are among us…actually Christmas is only a WEEK AWAY! I am so excited for all the gifts, food, and the BEAUTY RECIPES. It seems that a lot of our lovely favorite treats are actually beneficial to our body and today I am going to share three recipes featuring Holiday Favorites: Peppermint, Chocolate, and Persimmons!
image_1SheKnows.Com features a cute little recipe called the “Peppermint & Lavender Facial Scrub” and it sounds so relaxing and perfect for bedtime! It’s perfect for those of you with oily skin as well:
1 Cup of Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup of Almonds
1 Teaspoon of Dried Lavender
1 Teaspoon of Dried Peppermint Leaves
1 Cup of White Cosmetic Clay
1/2 Cup of Honey
All you have to do is take the oats, almonds, lavender, and peppermint and place them into a blender. Blend or grind until the mixture becomes a powder. When the powder texture is achieved, add the clay and honey and mix well. REFRIGERATE after mixing. When applying to your face, make sure to mix about one tablespoon of the mixture with warm water to create a thick paste. Then you can apply to your face and leave on until dry then rinse with warm water!
image_2This is probably going to be one of my favorite beauty recipes! MommyPotamus.Com has a recipe called “Mint Chocolate Body Butter” and oh my gosh this sounds more delicious than beautiful. This recipe calls for quite a few ingredients and the directions are a tad tedious but don’t forget that you are working with chocolate which can be difficult if not handled correctly:
1/2 Cup of Grated Cocoa Butter
1/2 Cup of Shea Butter
1/2 Cup of Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup of Jojoba or Mild Olive Oil
1-2 Teaspoons of Essential Peppermint Oil
2 Tablespoons Pure Cocoa Powder
The directions are tedious so please be prepared: Prepare an ice bath of a large bowl filled with ice and a small bowl (that is able to hold 4-5 cups of liquid) fitted in the middle. Using a double boiler (there are other ways to do this as well), melt the cocoa butter and shea butter on a low simmer then add the coconut oil and jojoba oil until the mixture is completely liquid. Remove the mixture from the heat and place into the small bowl while gradually adding the cocoa powder. Place the bowl into the large bowl of ice and let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes. After the time has passed, add the essential peppermint oil and go ahead and place the mixture back on the boiler on medium to high heat and whip until it has thicken. THEN YOU ARE DONE. Although this recipe seems difficult, it does seem worthy to try and really fun for a Holiday Spa Party!
image_3I don’t know about you all, but one of my favorite things about Winter is persimmons! They are so delicious and healthy and apparently really awesome for your hair! TheBudgetFashionista.Com did a post on a really awesome hair mask recipe titled the “Persimmon & Rosemary Invigorating Honey Hair Mask!” That’s a mouth full, right? But it sounds totally worth it! All you need are the following:
1 Ripe Persimmon
1 Sprig of Rosemary
1/4 Cup of Almond or Olive Oil
1/2 Cup of Honey
4 Drops of Essential Peppermint Oil
The directions are pretty easy actually compared to the previous recipe!! Cut your persimmon into small pieces and place into a blender where you will blend it until a smooth texture starts to form. Add the remaining ingredients until the mixture is nice, smooth, and creamy. Once finished, apply the hair mask to damp hair and scalp and let it sit and rest for about 20 minutes. After the time’s passed, rinse hair thoroughly and dry accordingly! Easy, right?

Well, that is it for today’s post! I hope you all enjoyed it and found it useful and fun!! I AM TEMPTED TO ATTEMPT THE MINT CHOCOLATE BODY BUTTER, but I’m sure Anthony would be worried about me burning down the house…or blowing myself up somehow. But if you have any Holiday inspired beauty recipes, please share in the comments below!! I am looking for awesome recipes to try and soon enough I’ll be filming them as well! With that said, Anthony already ordered my business cards today!! And this upcoming year is going to be busy with events and what not! I SHALL BE PREPARED! Well then…I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! Please be safe and take care and always remember to Live. Laugh. Smile.
Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

SimplyMe: Tree Decorating & More…

imageHELLO!!
Ah, guess what? THE END OF THE SEMESTER HAS ARRIVED AND I AM SO EXCITED AND HAPPY. I did pass both of my classes, in case you all are wondering. Anyways, my life hasn’t been too exciting since Thanksgiving! I didn’t get the chance to take a lot of pictures…BUT I did manage to get video!

So, that’s a little video on how I spent my Thanksgiving and the few days after! It doesn’t seem too exciting, but it was a super special day. MOVING ON:
image_1We finally got a chance to decorate the Christmas tree! For some reason, every year it gets more and more special and beautiful…maybe that’s because as I get older and closer to mine and Anthony’s wedding, I’ve realized that we may not get to have this chance for a long time after. My parents make fun of me for making it a big deal, but it’s still special to me regardless.
image_2Recently, I had a chance to catch up with my dear friend, Mariko, during Thanksgiving break! We were both craving some awesome Korean food so we went straight to Choi’s and we ate so much, it was AMAZING. For some reason, the dukbokki (or tteokbokki) was extra delicious! We had some really nice conversations and caught up on life. I’m jealous because she’s heading to Japan for Winter Break! I’ve been trying to convince Anthony that we should go, but I think he’s afraid of the language barrier for him…even when I suggested Okinawa. After dinner, we had a light dessert of coffee and sweets at Starbucks. It was so great to see her before she jets off!
image_3So, if you read my post on how I am maintaining my hair for growth, HERE’S AN UPDATE! So, the before picture was earlier this year I believe prior to March. I have been growing it out since and it is showing some length finally! So, I’ve been sticking to my routine of using the Essentials Hair Mask every other day and now that Winter is here and DRYING UP MY HAIR, I am using an avocado and almond butter based conditioner that my hair is loving. I haven’t used any heated products since the engagement photo shoot back in September. My hair is finally at the length where I don’t need to brush it or straighten it or anything. It’s laying pretty darn well on it’s own! I missed these days because now it means MORE TIME TO SLEEP. But overall, my hair is at it’s healthiest and it’s growing and growing! I told people I didn’t need no horse shampoo…pfft!
photoFinally, Anthony and I celebrated our first anniversary as an engaged couple! (We are now into our fourth year!) Unfortunately, Anthony was incredibly sick for the actual date but a week later we were able to celebrate appropriately! I bought us a lovely and quiet Chinese dinner at a local restaurant we frequent. I had the veggie lo mein and Anthony has the beef yake-udon. I told him to get some miso soup to help him pass the final days of his cold, but he insisted no. We then had mochi ice cream for dessert! After dinner, we went back to the house for some sparkling cider and to rest up before we head out to see “Frozen”!! And can I just say…IT WAS AWESOME. Honestly, I am just purely thankful that we got the chance to do a date night and really get out of the house. I love those days when we get time to ourselves.

Well, that’s all that has really happened so far! I am going to making more videos so please be on the look out! I am so happy that I am able to upload videos without waiting 7 to 16 hours! IT WAS A MAGICAL EXPERIENCE, THANKS APPLE. Anyways, so there will be more videos to come. I am also currently working with Anthony on my business card design as well as a new banner to match the business cards. I hope you all remember that this does not mean I am only doing sponsored posts or anything of the nature! I created Simply Taylor Rae to embody who I am and to help others embrace themselves whether they like fashion, beauty, food, or geeky things! This is for you all and it will remain so. I am so thankful of how far this blog has gone though. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d enjoy writing or blogging or photography or MAKING VIDEOS.

OK OK, The post is finally done. I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving and I hope the Christmas/Holiday season hasn’t been too frightening so far! (Holidays scare me…) Please take care everyone and remember to Live. Laugh. Smile.
Thanks for Reading~! ❤
With Love,
Taylor Rae

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